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J. E. Howe Letter

Identifier: MS-2907

  • Staff Only

James Howe wrote this letter, which discusses extensive Confederate espionage activity in and around Bowling Green, Kentucky, to his sister in 1863. Howe reports that he is currently assigned to watch the Nashville and Louisville train lines as a result of a Confederate attack on a twenty-one car train loaded with Union supplies. He tells of the perpetrators being dressed in full Union Army uniforms stolen from another supply train and mentions that he is being transferred to Nashville, Tennessee in order to help set up a quarantine hospital to handle an increasing smallpox epidemic. He reports that he is looking forward to visiting the capital city.


  • 1863 March 5

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


0.1 Linear Feet


This collection consists of one letter written by Union soldier James E. Howe to his sister Frances A. Howe of Flint, Michigan. Howe was stationed with his regiment in Bowling Green, Kentucky when he wrote the letter. In it, he mentions extensive Confederate espionage activity in and around Bowling Green and the Tennessee state line.

Biographical/Historical Note

James Emra Howe was born to Emory and Frances Howe in about 1836 in New York. There were two other children in the family: George (born about 1833) and Frances A. (born about 1840). The family was living in Michigan when the Civil War began, and James enlisted in Company K of the 23rd Michigan Infantry in 1862. He was promoted to Corporal on March 1, 1863 and to Sergeant on December 1, 1863. He was discharged on July 30, 1865. He returned home to Michigan, where he married Paulina (1850-1921) in about 1878. The couple had at least two children: Gertrude P. (born about 1879) and Martha E. (born about 1883). James Howe died on June 28, 1914.


This collection consists of one folder.

Acquisition Note

The University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections purchased this letter on June 9, 2006.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA